Wireless Personal Communications

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 683–706 | Cite as

An Enhanced A-MSDU Frame Aggregation Scheme for 802.11n Wireless Networks

  • Anwar SaifEmail author
  • Mohamed Othman
  • Shamala Subramaniam
  • Nor Asila Wati Abdul Hamid


The main goal of the IEEE 802.11n standard is to achieve a minimum throughput of 100 Mbps at the MAC service access point. This high throughput has been achieved via many enhancements in both the physical and MAC layers. A key enhancement at the MAC layer is frame aggregation in which the timing and headers overheads of the legacy MAC are reduced by aggregating multiple frames into a single large frame before being transmitted. Two aggregation schemes have been defined by the 802.11n standard, aggregate MAC service data unit (A-MSDU) and aggregate MAC protocol data unit (A-MPDU). As a consequence of the aggregation, new aggregation headers are introduced and become parts of the transmitted frame. Even though these headers are small compared to the legacy headers they still have a negative impact on the network performance, especially when aggregating frames of small payload. Moreover, the A-MSDU is highly influenced by the channel condition due mainly to lack of subframes sequence control and retransmission. In this paper, we have proposed an aggregation scheme (mA-MSDU) that reduces the aggregation headers and implements a retransmission control over the individual subframes at the MSDU level. The analysis and simulations results show the significance of the proposed scheme, specifically for applications that have a small frame size such as VoIP.


Frame aggregation Aggregation headers WLAN A-MSDU Next generation networks 802.11n 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anwar Saif
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohamed Othman
    • 1
  • Shamala Subramaniam
    • 1
  • Nor Asila Wati Abdul Hamid
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication Technology and NetworkFaculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Universiti Putra MalaysiaUPM, SerdangMalaysia

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